Mariners rely on GPS to avoid collisions, but increasingly they're finding GPS cannot be relied on near the Port of Shanghai:
In fact, something far more dangerous was happening, and the Manukai’s captain was unaware of it. Although the American ship’s GPS signals initially seemed to have just been jammed, both it and its neighbor had also been spoofed—their true position and speed replaced by false coordinates broadcast from the ground.
Analysts noticed that the attacks had actually started the previous summer, increasing as the months rolled on. The most intense interference was recorded on the very day in July that the Manukai’s captain reported difficulties, when a total of nearly 300 vessels had their locations spoofed.
The spoofing could be China testing a new electronic weapon. Or it could be sand pirates trying to sneak through the area:
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Chinese builders call it “soft gold.” Sand dredged from Yangtze River, which has the ideal consistency and composition for cement, helped fuel Shanghai’s construction boom in the 1980s and 1990s. By the turn of the millennium, reckless sand extraction had undermined bridges, trashed ecosystems, and caused long stretches of the riverbank to collapse. In 2000, Chinese authorities banned sand mining on the Yangtze completely.
The trade continued illicitly, however, expanding to include the illegal dredging of sand and gravel from the Yangtze estuary and the open seas near Shanghai. By day, such ships look innocuous. By night, they lower pipes to the riverbed to suck up thousands of tons of sand in a single session.
“Yet another delay” in the Trump administration's threatened U.S. ban on China's Huawei technologies, Colin Lecher reports at The Verge. Read the rest
This promotional video promotes a car door that slides under the car instead of opening outwards. The terribleness of the idea wedded to the "upper middle-class England in the 1980s" marketing gives it an almost vicious quality, as if intentionally mocking the unmoored techno-meritocratic fantasies of the Thatcher era. The car of Hyacinth Bucket's dreams.
The design saw mass-production with the BMW Z1 coupe, however, and was apparently mechanically reliable enough. It appears the licensor's website at disappearing-car-door.com is now dead.
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Microsoft is hiring former Obama administration Attorney General Eric Holder to provide legal window dressing for their AnyVision technology, which the company says complies with the ethical principles stipulated during the facial recognition company's Series A. Read the rest
Donald Trump has long made a sport of mocking Amazon founder and Washington Post newspaper owner Jeff Bezos, and Jeff Bezos is well aware of this. Read the rest
PayPal on Thursday says it has halted payment support for models with PornHub, the online adult site, after Paypal says it found that Pornhub made certain payments without PayPal's permission. Read the rest
The privacy-focused web browser Brave has finally launched a 1.0 version, bringing it officially out of beta. Read the rest
A number of popular health-related websites in the UK are reported to be actively sharing sensitive user data with dozens of third parties, including Google and Facebook, but also various adtech firms and data brokers. Read the rest
After years of poorly-received MacBook Pro models, Apple's new sixteen-inch model has a lot riding on it. Read the rest
At Medium's OneZero [@ozm], new reporting based on “thousands of pages of previously undisclosed emails” confirms “the existence of a massive, secretive network of police departments working together to share controversial facial recognition tools.” Read the rest
Security researchers at Purdue and U. of Iowa confirm what many security experts have long feared: there are serious security weaknesses in 5G that undermine the promised security and privacy protections. Read the rest
An unknown number of mobile phone users in America received weird texts on their phone on Wednesday. Read the rest
Twitter has some very serious security explaining to do. Read the rest
Are you an AT&T customer on an unlimited data plan? Have you had the feeling that sometimes your phone carrier was deliberately slowing you down? The FCC says you aren't wrong, and that AT&T must pay $60 million in settlement for slowing cellphone data on unlimited plans. Read the rest
This is a simple but wonderful little original video that shows each incarnation of the Nvidia GPU, from 1995 to 2019. Read the rest
Researchers at Telecom Paris have developed an artificial skin that responds to stroking, pinching, tapping, and tickling. To demonstrate it, they covered a mobile phone with the skin and showed how it could work as a back-of-the-device interface. The video also shows how the material can be used to give robots a skin that "feels" when it is touched.
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Beware the rogue .wav file. Read the rest